The White House announced this week that the Department of Education will be providing digital literacy best practices for school districts on the use of internet-enabled devices and services, as well as protecting students’ data.

In a May 23 fact sheet, the White House said the Education Department will issue the resources in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, the surgeon-general, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Federal Trade Commission.

The resources, model policies, and voluntary best practices will focus on “the use of internet-enabled devices (both personal and school-provided) and services in elementary and secondary schools in order to promote and encourage local policies that improve digital health, safety, and citizenship practices and academic outcomes; and the acquisition of safe, healthy, and developmentally-appropriate digital literacy skills and habits for P-12 students,” according to the fact sheet.

Additionally, the White House said the department will promote and enhance the privacy of minor students’ data and address concerns about the monetization of that data by commercial entities.

The White House said the Education Department is planning to do so by commencing a rulemaking under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

“To further advance these objectives, following publication of final FERPA regulations, the Department of Education will update its model FERPA notification and consent forms to ensure that they are clear and concise and will also provide best practice guidance to schools and school districts regarding FERPA and contracting with third-party vendors,” the fact sheet says.

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